We have commented before about the paradox of New York City’s well-earned reputation as the entertainment capital of the world, despite its paucity of bluegrass music. It shows that beauty and attraction is in the eye of the beholder. Or to relate the wisdom of a 1960s era philosopher, “Keep Manhattan just gimme that countryside.”
But The Big Apple does produce some quality bluegrass, though it is understandably influenced by the city that encompasses it.
Today’s example comes from Cole Quest and The City Pickers, and a first single from their upcoming, 6-song EP. They live on the more progressive side of the bluegras spectrum, led by reso-guitarist Quest, supported by Christian Apuzzo on guitar, Mike Mulhollan on banjo, Larry Cook on bass, and Matheus Verardino on harmonica.
For the single, they have chosen an interesting hybrid composition, Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, written by Cole’s grandfather, Woody Guthrie, as a poem and later set to music by English songwriter, Billy Bragg, and recorded in 1996 by Wilco. The City Pickers turn it into a mid-tempo grasser, which you can hear in this clever animated lyric video released yesterday.
The band’s EP, Self-Entitled, is set for an April 6 release on Omnivore Records. Pre-orders can be placed now online.